Designing effective pilot program evaluations in partnership with communities

  • 04/16/2019
  • 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Innovation Lab, National Louis University, 122 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603


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Designing effective pilot program evaluations in partnership with communities

This interactive and scenario based workshop will focus on designing and evaluating community pilot programs. When evaluators are determining whether a pilot program has been effective they often consider several factors such as community need and context, program design and delivery, engagement with stakeholders, cost and benefits, and sustainability. Through universal examples of lessons learned from national pilot experiences, participants will examine core principles of program design theory, community engagement, and data collection in pilot environments; how to set clear objectives to frame pilots as opportunities for learning and assessment with community partners; monitoring and evaluation processes that detect early indicators of setbacks or challenges. Upon completion of this workshop, participants will learn and better understand strategies, tools and critical thinking frameworks for incorporating effective evaluation methodology into the design and execution of community pilot programs.

What you will learn:

  • Set clear objectives that will frame pilots as learning opportunities
  • Develop evaluation planning techniques for pilot programs
  • Identify evaluation methods that will help you to navigate implementation and data collection in pilot environments
  • Examine community engagement and partnership strategies appropriate for pilot programs
  • Discuss risks and common pitfalls associated with pilot programs

About the Presenter

Shana Alford is a research strategist and evaluator with 10 years of experience evaluating local and national community programs focused on improving the health and food security of individuals, families and communities.  In her most recent position, she served as Director of Program Evaluation at Feeding America, a national anti-hunger organization, and managed a portfolio of evaluation studies, partnerships with external researchers, conference training, and technical assistance with local food banks. Ms. Alford has written and co-authored reports, presented results and findings, and led training and capacity building efforts--she co-led a workshop for evaluators at the American Evaluation Association in June 2018. Additionally, she worked as an evaluation specialist at a community health organization supporting the Risk and Prevention Services team that implemented HIV prevention and substance abuse programs in South and Westside communities in Chicago. Ms. Alford prioritizes people in evaluation, not just data, which has been informed by her experiences traveling around the country and meeting with community members, program participants, program managers, directors and CEOs. Shana has a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) degree from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Temple University.   

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